Date: October 15, 2020
Season 2, Episode 8 and 9
Musical Accompaniment: More of my instrumental playlist
Interstellar News: My brain is feeling much better today after yesterday. Yesterday I also did at least six loads of laundry, so no wonder why I was so damn tired. Today, I am making a 13 pound turkey because I am ridiculous.
TL;DR: Earth, 1967, something lands in the Sierra mountains. Cut to present day DQ where a spatial rift forms and Captain Braxton from the 29th century who’s there to destroy Voyager in his time ship due to something they did. They both get pulled into the rift, however, and Voyager winds up in 1996. Chakotay, Paris, Tuvok (in a du-rag), and Janeway head down to explore L.A. Chakotay and Janeway find Braxton who is now an old, homeless man. His ship landed in 1967 and a man named Starling found the ship and has been using it to come out with new technological advances every few years. Rain Robinson, who works at a SETI lab for Starling, tells Starling “something’s out there” and then, against his advice, sends a welcome message that Kim (who’s got the bridge) ignores. Tuvok and Paris head for the lab, destroy her computer, and go to leave when one of Starling’s henchmen disintegrates their ride so they take Rain and her van. Chakotay and Paris confront Starling, are beamed out just in time by Kim, try to steal the time ship but instead wind up losing data and the EMH (not to be confused with Data and the EMH).
Tuvok and Paris get Rain’s help to send a signal back to Voyager and they get a plan together. Starling figures out how to cause pain to the EMH in order to get information on the crew. Rain asks Starling to come get her, so he does and brings the EMH. Chakotay and Torres take a shuttlecraft to go rescue the boys and get the time ship, Starling thinks they’re just there to steal it. They try to beam out Starling, Rain runs away, the EMH does too, and Starling is eventually beamed but stuck in the pattern buffer… so he’s beamed onto Voyager. Torres and Chakotay crash land and are captured by two men who are doomsday preppers. Paris and Rain go to Starling’s company, the EMH and Tuvok head to Arizona, and Starling is woken up on Voyager. The driver locates Starling in the timeship and beams him back to Earth. The EMH frees Chakotay and Torres, Paris and Rain fall for a ruse, and Starling launches. Everyone gets back to Voyager, including the mobile EMH and Janeway is getting ready for a manual launch which kills Starling. Braxton comes back through, but it’s one who doesn’t know them, and there’s a temporal prime directive that means they go right back to whence they came.
Porter: God in heaven help us.
EMH: Divine intervention is unlikely.
EMH: Tuvok’s at the shuttle. He’s starting repairs.
Chakotay: Doctor, how?
EMH: It’s a long story, Commander. Suffice it to say, I’m making a house call.I absolutely love this whole scene, from the invincible EMH to the reactions from Torres and Chakotay.
Janeway’s Jam: “Ensign Kim, you have an impeccable sense of timing. Not bad for your first day in the big chair.”
“Somehow I doubt that taking a test drive is going to alter the course of the universe.”: I am absolutely a 90’s girl, though I grew up on the East Coast. So many things in the first part were fantastic including, to my surprise, Sarah Silverman (who played Rain). I’ve also been to the Griffith Observatory, over 10 years ago when I was last in L.A., and it was awesome to see a place I’ve been in an episode like that. I also liked the shout out to SETI, as it’s a thing I taught about in one of my classes. I loved, loved, loved that Janeway was a hunt-and-peck typer because by the time she was born it wasn’t a required class… much like many do not know cursive nowadays. I also thoroughly enjoyed Kes and Neelix getting sucked into a soap opera. My Grandma Mary used to love “her shows” and I remember there were certain times we weren’t supposed to call her because she would be enthralled. Instead of “a hat for Spock“, Tuvok had something more appropriate for the time he was beamed into, though I cannot imagine him in dreadlocks, ever. Kim was also pretty awesome in the captain’s chair, with a little urging from Torres. This part was a fantastic set up to the next part, but still had a lot jammed in it.
“In short, I am footloose and fancy free.”: This second half really felt kind of glued together and didn’t really feel like one, cohesive piece to me. There’s a lot that happens but the absolute best parts all surround the EMH. I also think it’s ironic that Janeway began this voyage as “prime directive this” and “prime directive that” and then they can’t get put back in the AQ because of a “temporal prime directive”, which I thought was a nice touch for why their voyage didn’t get to end there. I don’t really understand why there was a reset Braxton, or what happened to the rest of the late 1990’s, but I sort of get Starling… to a point. Once he realized Voyager was from the 24th century, his wrong assumption that they were there to steal the technology for themselves was understandable. What I don’t get is why he would risk blowing up the world for more technology? He was greedy, plain and simple, and he wasn’t as altruistic as he claimed when Braxton was living on the streets. I also didn’t hate Rain and Paris, in fact Paris was not vomit-inducing and skeevy as he has been in previous episodes.
For the two-parter as a whole, I give it a 7 hour drive on Interstate-95… plus or minus a few hours.